Joyce Duncan


04/23/1940 - 08/23/2023

Joyce Duncan, our Mother, Grandmother  and Great Grandmother dearly loved:

  • Family time together
  • Babies
  • Cooking to feed others
  • Coffee
  • Animals

A spontaneous last-minute “let's go out to eat” would always become, “Call Pat and Sandy and Patty and Kim and Joni and Amanda and Crystal and see if they can go.”

Mom would light up at the appearance of a baby anywhere in her line of sight and would be compelled to go over and admire it and engage the parents about their child.

At heart, she was a cook. She did not cook for the joy of cooking, she cooked for the joy of feeding others and she strove 365 days a year to make sure that no one in her life was ever hungry. Through her life-long food service career and our family restaurant, “The Smokehouse” in Henderson, Texas, she fed the world. 

At home, there was ALWAYS hot coffee available 24/7.

Mom LOVED animals, especially dogs and cats. She could not bear to see them sick or hungry or uncared for and would take personal action to alleviate the distress of any that came into her awareness. She once found a stray dog that we could not capture and she drove several miles every day, twice a day for almost two years to feed that dog until she was finally able to befriend it and bring it home with her where it lived out the rest of its life loved, cared for and well fed.

Mom cared.

She cared about animals. She cared about people.

While we were growing up, in our home she cared for her own father in his final days of battling colon cancer, then my father's dad after he had a debilitating stroke, then my father's mother, then her own mother, then my Dad (her husband) when he was in his last days of battling cancer. She also made our home a foster home for numerous children who had been abused and neglected. One year our home was home to so many hapless children that Mom was awarded Foster Mother of the Year.

Mom cared.

Mom wanted to make sure she was not a burden on her family and she purchased an economy cremation package years in advance to eliminate costs for her family and told us not to convene a funeral service for her.

She requested that anyone who wants to send flowers, etc. to instead make a contribution to the Duncan Home For Wayward Cats.

You can make a contribution on this page if inclined to do so.

In her last days, she said she missed her cats the most and reminded us that her beloved rescued dog Sammi's ashes were to be placed with her in her final resting place.

You are invited to enjoy a complimentary dine-in meal and join family, friends, and patrons at her memorial tribute event Sunday September 17th from 11-5.

It's gonna be a BIG OL gathering with family, friends, and hungry people just like she always loved.

We hope your schedule will allow you to join us in celebration of her remarkable life. There will be food. 🙂  Lots of food for all. 🙂 

207 US Hwy 79
Henderson, Texas
11 am – 5 pm

Come and go as you please. Some family will be present 12-3, others 11-5

Until then or if you cannot attend, please open your heart and scroll down to donate for the hapless animals that she loved to help and care for.


About 600 free meals were served.

We hope that Mom was pleased.

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